The Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has directed the Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda to make a statement on the floor of Parliament detailing plans to save Ugandans who are trapped in Wuhan-China following the breakout of the deadly corona virus.
This was after Kawempe North MP, Latif Ssebagala raised concerns after reports of starvation and shortage of protective gears by Ugandan students in Wuhan city.
Latif Ssebagala said that he had been bombarded by messages from Ugandan students in Wuhan who are much concerned that their government is doing nothing to save them from the outbreak as well as having them evacuated back to their home country.
Ssebagala told members that the students have no access to food, water, masks, and financial services since all shops and banks have been shut
Ssebagala said that the students have maintained that they need to be immediately evacuated since their stay in the foreign country leaves them more vulnerable to not only the virus but also other external factors.
“It is our plea that the government of Uganda uses its diplomatic engagement with China to allow for a timely evacuation exercise because many other students from other countries have been evacuated. Meanwhile government should consider financial support to students so as to couple up with the situation,” Ssebagala pleaded.
He added that, “All students in Wuhan have been carefully quarantined for more than two weeks now, which confirms their health relation to the virus, however in the event of any suspected risk, quarantine measures should be advisable when we are back.”
The Government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa informed Parliament that the matter was discussed in cabinet and a team was put in place comprising of Minister of Health, Minister of Education and Minister of Foreign Affairs who were tasked to find possible ways to make sure Ugandans trapped in Wuhan are safe and weigh options of either evacuating them or sending logistics to the Ugandans.
Commenting on the matter, the Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga noted that this matter is so serious and government should move faster to save the lives of Ugandans.
“It’s not only in Wuhan, last time I received a call from a parent whose child is in another province where all the students have been quarantined, there is a lock down, you can’t get in and out, they have no masks, food, water; I quickly contacted the Ambassador to handle the issue,” Kadaga said.
She added, “We need assurance that they are safe and that they will be able to get supplies they need as well as an evacuation plan; the Prime Minister is required to come here tomorrow to brief us first on the safety of students and other Ugandans, their management as well as their evacuation.”